LOS ANGELES - Former Los Angeles City Councilman Alex Padilla took the oath of office as the state's newest U.S. senator Wednesday, becoming the first Latino to represent California in the Senate.
Padilla resigned as California secretary of state on Monday and was formally appointed by the governor to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by now- Vice President Kamala Harris.
Harris and President Joe Biden were inaugurated Wednesday morning, and Padilla was sworn into his new post Wednesday afternoon -- by Harris.
"As I prepare to enter the United States Senate, I will carry on the mission of building a more inclusive democracy and economy for all," Padilla said Monday.
Padilla, 47, had served as secretary of state since 2015. Prior to that, he served in the state Senate representing the Southland's 20th District. He spent more than seven years on the Los Angeles City Council representing the Seventh District in the northeastern San Fernando Valley. He was the council president for five years -- the youngest and first Latino to ever hold that post.
A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering, Padilla worked for Hughes Aircraft before turning to politics. Padilla was raised in the Pacoima area and continues to live with his wife and three sons in the San Fernando Valley.
Newsom nominated Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, to take over as secretary of state. If confirmed by the Legislature, Weber will become the first Black woman to ever hold that position. Weber has been in the Assembly since 2012 and chairs the California Legislative Black Caucus.
Padilla's deputy secretary of state, James Schwab, will fill serve in the role pending Weber's confirmation.